Just as I did last year, I coordinated with the Idaho State Police prior to the event, to ensure communication and civility between our members and law enforcement.
A couple dozen protesters showed up, along with a couple dozen police officers. A few less on both sides than last year, but combined, made up a pretty good sized group.
I spoke with the assigned Sergeant before everything began. He said that as a long as things went like last year, anyone who participated in the act of civil disobedience would be detained, cited, and then released. He pointed out the troopers that would be giving the citations, and said everything could be done outside this time, instead of going into the capitol building like last year.
This made me happy. It was actually quite an ordeal having to go into the Capitol and down to the basement to receive a citation. My health has consistently deteriorated and my mobility has drastically decreased since last year and I was grateful for the saved energy.
I was also pleased to hear about the cite & release because I already had things set up with Aladdin Bail Bonds just in case I was actually arrested and taken to jail. Not being arrested meant that I could use that bail money to take care of family and buy more meds for myself instead. So, I told our crowd that it was okay if no one joined me again, and that I would accept the citation alone.
We did a press conference first, with local media outlets KBOI and KIVI, where several attendees, including Koby Conrad of Green Majority, gave statements to the reporters.
Koby discussed the Idaho Medical Mariuana Act, and the need for registered voters to seek out the petition to sign, and for as many as possible to circulate a petition to the people they know.
I never remember everything that I say during these things. I really hate being in the spotlight, and typically kind of just ramble in front of the camera when it's put in my face. Last year, I tried to write a speech to ensure what needed to be addressed was discussed, but of course couldn't memorize it and reading it just took forever. So this year, I just rambled instead. I'm sure everyone was grateful for the shortened speech, since it was 13 degrees and snowing!
I know I spoke about the need for reform of laws, that officers aren't there to make the laws - only enforce them - and that if we want these laws changed, we need to get our boots on the ground and make it happen.
The media quoted me as saying:
|Speaking with the KBOI cameraman about my new citation.|
"We are completely surrounded by legal marijuana, by C.B.D, and by decriminalization, and Idaho is on the wrong side of history and it's up to us how long we are going to stay there"
"We are challenging Governor Otter and his veto of the CBD bill, we're challenging every citizen of Idaho to stand up and join us and let's actually make this beneficial medicine available to our neighbors."
and "We believe it is our right to choose what goes into our bodies and we should not be criminalized for giving ourselves and our families a better quality of life,"
Then it was almost 4:20pm - time to light the joint.
Except that the Sergeant had already told me that they cannot let me light it. Last year, when I pulled out the joint, I felt like I was going to be tackled on the capitol steps, so this time, I had told the Sergeant that I would just hand it to them if I could continue the rally before they detained me to give me the citation. He said they had actually spoken about that prior to the rally, and yes, I could continue and hand the joint to the trooper when I was finished.
I remember I joked about changing the name of our event from "New Year's Smoke Out" to "Give Your Weed to the Idaho State Police" which elicited a few giggles from everyone. I know I spoke about the need for clear and defined boundaries for law enforcement and medical marijuana patients as we reform these laws.
I believe I spoke of compassion, and that it isn't a legal matter, a criminal matter, or a political matter. That Idahoans are compassionate people who, I believe, do not want to throw people in jail for using marijuana as medicine to end their suffering.
I spoke about the federal government and the DEA's stance that Marijuana has no medical value and is highly addictive and dangerous, and that these things have been disproven by science and history.
Then I know I mentioned that there is one thing in which I DO agree with the DEA's position, and that is that "Smoked Mariuana is not modern medicine."
I believe it's definitely not modern medicine.
Prohibition has delayed the medical evolution of Marijuana.
Instead of sitting in the parking lot at Walgreens, waiting on some dude I really don't know, who could rip me off by selling me non-medical grade crap without any repercussion, I would rather go into the store and get my medicine the way all Idahoans get theirs. In a modern form from someone who has been trained to answer my questions about the medicine.
I pulled out a CannaCap, and said THIS is how I want to take my medicine.
This is modern medicine. We should all have safe access to our medicine in the form that we prefer.
Just like at a pharmacy.
The CannaCaps I had in the container are NOT merely CBD oil as KIVI suggested in their article. The caps are marijuana infused coconut oil in capsules.
CannaCaps are one of the best ways I have ever found to take my medicine.
In reality, the only reason I can't use them daily like I need is because I cannot obtain the right quantity and quality in Idaho for an affordable price.
If I could have enough of the right Marijuana to make CannaCaps, I would use them every day. If I had CannaCaps every day, I could possibly be capable of leaving my house more frequently, or even have the mobility to work a job of some sort and be a productive member of society like I long to do.
The Caps I had at the Capitol came from a larger stash I was blessed with last month. The only reason I made it through Christmas and all the latest winter storms was because I received them as a gift from a friend. They are difficult to get and it was definitely even more difficult saving them for the rally, and then just handing them over to the police. CannaCaps help me feel so much better than just smoking marijuana.
I had two CannaCaps on me - a light one and a dark one. They are a lot like Nyquil and Dayquil. One is for night time and one is for during the day, because the effects of each capsule are different based on the strain from which it is made.
The light capsule (night time) was made with the AC/DC strain, and the dark capsule (day time) was made with Durban Poison. Both strains are very beneficial for my condition because of the levels they contain of numerous Cannabinoids, including THC, THCA, THCV, CBN, CBG and CBD.
Both are anti-inflammatory which really helps with my inflammatory bladder condition.
After the rally was finished, I handed the container to the trooper and he walked with me to his squad car to write me the citation. He was very considerate, and gave me extra time to traverse the snowy capitol steps so I didn't fall on my butt.
As I waited for the officer to write up the citation, I spoke with another trooper about Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, and their view on ending the violent and deadly War on Drugs.
In the end, I received a citation for Possession of a Controlled Substance for the Marijuana joint and two CannaCaps, and Possession of Paraphernalia just for the container.
Same as last year.
While it's ridiculous that I face up to a year in jail and $1,000 fine for each container that I've used in my protests, in addition to up to a year in jail and $1,000 fine for merely possessing Marijuana on the Capitol steps, I have to commend the Idaho State Police.
By not actually arresting me, and only issuing a citation, it shows some of the benefits that could come from decriminalization of Marijuana in Idaho.
Idaho is already wasting a ton of money prosecuting me for these charges. Funding that could be better used to prosecute real criminals, people who actually harm other people.
By not arresting me, this year or last, ISP has saved the taxpayers of Idaho quite a bit of money that would have otherwise been spent to transport, book, and house me in the Ada County Jail.
Decriminalization provides police the ability to do precisely what ISP used their discretion to do. The same that Payette County Sheriff Chad Huff has previously suggested - issue a citation and let the courts deal with it instead of arresting people for Marijuana.
The only difference between what ISP did, what Sheriff Huff suggests, and decriminalization, is that with decrim, we could officially remove the criminal element (the misdemeanor) from the charge. That way, when the courts deal with it, it isn't a bunch of money spent on prosecuting and jailing nonviolent people for merely possessing marijuana. It's an infraction instead, that poses a fine on the offender instead of prosecution and jail time.
While this isn't the best Idaho could do for it's citizens, it would definitely be a good start.
In the mean time, I will keep fighting against Idaho's illogical War on Marijuana. We've got a petition for which to collect signatures, Kelsey Osborne's fight against CPS, Boise Hempfest coming up in April, Global Marijuana March in May, and more in the works. Maybe we'll even do a 3rd New Year's Smoke Out for 2018.
I have to enter a plea on my new charges next week, and I have court for my other charges, so I will be going in on January 10th, 2017 to do both.
I welcome anyone who supports changing Idaho's marijuana laws to attend!
Court begins at 9:30am at the Ada County Court House.
Learn more at the facebook event for Court Support.
More to come! Check back soon for updates.
|Happy New Year!|